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Praat for students

Praat is one of the classic programmes for linguistic work, which is often applied in phonetics. You will come into contact with it more often during your studies. We will only show you here how to create a new file and point out some useful shortcuts. Everything else will be explained in the lectures.


To open an existing file in Praat you have to click on Open and then on Read from file.

Now you navigate to the directory where your files are stored and open them.

The right window is the Praat Picture Window. With this window your data can be illustrated more visually.

If you want to annotate a file, you have to click on Annotate and then To TextGrid in the right menu bar.


Praat now asks you what you want to name your tiers. For the beginning we leave the names as Praat gives them.

In this case we create three tiers, two of them (Mary & John) are interval-tiers, one of them is a point-tier. With an interval-tier you can mark a period of time, as the name suggests, and with the point-tier you can mark an exact time.

Your file could look like this, for example.


Useful keyboard shortcuts (in TextGrid):

Ctrl + 1 = Boundary on the first tier (number corresponding to the tier on which you want to set a boundary)

Alt + Backspace = Delete a boundary

Ctrl + I = Zoom in

Ctrl + O = Zoom out

Ctrl + N = Zoom on the selection